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Old 30th-December-2016, 01:06 AM   #1

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Default Where did humans go wrong?

I read a book by Daniel Quinn called "Ishmael" some time before I first joined the forum. I decided to give it another read because I found it inspiring in my younger days, and I wanted to revisit his ideas.

In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.

It wasn't suggesting that our modern way of life was a problem on it's own (agriculture and consumerism, etc) , but the problem was in the way that our culture has deemed it the only way to live, and left to exponentially grow while killing off all other cultures. Also mentioned was our method of food production, which is the direct cause of our growing population.

Because I hitched into the idea, I was inspired to live a bit more sustainable (which I did a little) but more than action I've put more time in thought into it. I wondered what would a solution look like? Was it better not to look at it as a problem? What could I do to change anything? The only thing I came up with was different ways of looking at things.

I'm not meaning to advertise a book. I brought it up because I didn't want to throw all these ideas out as my own.

The title of this topic still holds, I would like to know how you perceive our culture going wrong, or if it is even wrong, or better or worse.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 02:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

Humanity got it wrong, nay, they were destined to get it wrong due to our evolution. When we have all our needs met, some, but not all people become complacent. The ones that don't become complacent end up steering the complacent in a direction that is most beneficial to them.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 02:21 AM   #3

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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

I don't get the point.

If he (author/op) argues that advances in agriculture led to population increase then he misses the obvious fact that people had lots of offspring solely to use them as aids in the fields. In fact; the less efficient the food production technology was; the greater the need for cheap labour and inequality that was built on top of that.

The reason for population increase isn't just food surplus, it's also in the whole developmental bracket of tech, education, goals, etc.

If you look at our own western growing population, you'll see it's leveled off and will go into decline or will stabilise. We see a growing population in underdeveloped countries that are less 'consumerist', more diverse and less 'polluted' by globalisation. (I mean I'm not a fan of globalisation but undeniably the spreading of technology brings stability at the very least)

It's projected that as other countries become more socially/technologically advanced the global population will peak and decline by this century.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 02:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

Tony Wright (Left in the dark) suggests the evolution of our brains went wrong, when we stopped eating raw foods full of hormones (fruits are the sex organ of plants) and cooked most of everything to a dead mush. Our minds became too dissociative and as a result our sense of self is no longer carried by the holistic principles of the right brain but has become reduced to the smaller linear principles of the left brain - a separate sense of self that sees itself lost in attachment and aversion. He does not suggest that this old problem of evolution can be fixed in a lifetime via dietary change.

Ken Wilber suggests that nothing went wrong. That we became simply more efficient at being ass-hats. We also became less selfish, not more, in our abstract essence, but the efficiency of our selfish technology is not yet undone by our efforts to integrate ourselves with more and more of reality in sustainable manner. So we are in a natural process of alternating back and forth between expansion and integration, breaking out into new dualities of struggle first and integrating ourselves within that totality harmoniously, later. First we were monkey-ness, then we split that into the duality of me-monkey and other-monkey, then we integrated that into monkey-tribe, thereby splitting monkeys into my-tribe and other-tribe, then we integrated that into monkey-nation and it was my-nation vs your nation and so on ... more and more refinement of abstract thinking and abstract perception is setting up new boundaries and conflicts.

I think both perspectives are true.

We do have serious brain damage, that makes us narrow minded and keeps us in a fight and flight mode, where all of these conflicts are perceived as absolutely serious, so we are always willing to kill for them.

The problem has of course been recognized by all religions but not understood and they have no solution, apart from prayer and meditation, which is ineffective and drugs and ecstatic rituals, which are temporary.

On the other hand the conflicts are unavoidable and correlated with very good abilities and we just get better and better but life becomes more and more complicated, so if we can't chill anymore, because of brain damage, then complications are very anxiety or anger inducing and painful.

This problem has also been recognized by religions and not surprisingly they tried to solve it and so religion became a force of conflict resolution. Many gods of individual temper and crisis were united into tribal gods, tribal gods were united into one god to rule them all. But the killing goes on in the name of god.
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Old 30th-December-2016, 06:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

Where did humans go wrong?
If humans haven't gone extinct yet then the haven't gone wrong yet. The reason humans started farming is because they became smart enough to understand plants and animals. If intelligence is a bad thing then humans when wrong when homo Erectus invented fire 2 million years ago. Intelligence is not the problem. What is the problem is the distribution of resources that keep us fighting each other all the time. Technology is a just a way to protect resources. People need certain things to survive. Parents raise their children to best survive. Culture is just when groups of humans are separated by geographical distance and evolves differently.

In the future, people will be unable to take advantage of each other because of Artificial Intelligence. A.I. will know everything and stop people from doing bad stuff. A.I. is jus another technology. A technology that will be global. Mostly people stop people in their community from doing bad stuff like cheating and killing. That is why we have police and government. The problem is that ass holes can corrupt the system a cheat and kill. In school, I learned allot about American history, such as the declaration of independence in 1776. Corruption is dealt with by the people. It is my thought that A.I. in the future will eliminate corruption because A.I. will create total transparency. The internet has created allot of transparency already.

People need meaning in their lives and they need resources to survive. Shcool is a good thing because reading and writing is important for humans to be able to do. Work is important because people get depressed and sad when the sit around and do nothing. The people who lived during the great depression were the ones who influenced the 60's culture. They saw what happened in the 30's and did not want that to happen again. So yes humans do fight kill and cheat each other because of resources and being in separate geographical regions. But they do so to survive. People need to work to have self-esteem. It feels good to be resourceful. The only problem is to keep society in line because of crime and corruption. War happens because different societies with different goals exist.

For people to get along in the future crime, corruption, war and poverty need to be solved. We cannot blame humans for having intelligence. We cannot blame homo Erectus for inventing fire 2 million years ago. The only solution to the problems humanity faces is a social and technological solution. People need a purpose that is why they work and play games, (in modern countries we play video games). People come to INTP forum because they need something to do. Learning stuff is fun also. A.I. will create total transparency and keep people in check. It will protect people so long as it is controlled by people who can be held accountable. The inability to hold people accountable is why people get away with such awful things in this world. And we can't solve humanity's problems by just fighting. Decisions need to be made on what is and is not acceptable. Our global future civilization will be based on that. Acceptable and unacceptable.
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Old 4th-March-2017, 01:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

The point is Man won, then he fell lower than his savage beginning. The question I could not answer, why did this happen? What disaster took their reason away from Man? What whip put them on their knees in shame and submission? I know what it was. 'The worship of the word "WE". Men accepted that worship, then centuries collapsed around them, buildings fell on their lovely heads, wheels did not work. Those men who survived, those eager to obey, eager to live for one another, since they had nothing to vindicate them, those men could neither carry on, nor preserve what they had received. Like unto a group of savages that found a spaceship! Man has always lost what he did not create.
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Old 4th-March-2017, 01:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

Man kills mammoth big hairy animal in pre-history. "O how wonderful it would be to be one with nature once more" Cave bear devours man.

Man gives cow free food and protection from disease and other predators, then slaughters it. "Oh how savage man is for keeping an animal prisoner and then killing it." Man chokes on bone.

We have not biologically evolved much since the times when we bashed one another with stones, painted upon the walls of caves, ate fermented fruit from the ground and dug honey out of the hives of bees.

So what is wrong about humanity? Each person will say different things and so too each group.

Animal rights activist: "We should stop killing animals because they are like us and can feel pain."

Game ranger: "We should kill at least a 100 elephants otherwise they will monopolize food sources and cause the deforestation of our park, cuasing starvation among other browsers."

Farmer: "I hope the price of alfalfa/lucerne is low this year so that I can feed my cattle, slaughter them and sell the meat, then use the profit to pay my employees, support my family and maybe go on vacation."

Traditional Doctor: "I hope they can safely transport the rhino horn across the ocean so the order that my clients filled is complete, my daughter needs a car this year."

One human: "Nuclear weapons are the worst creation of the human mind for we can destroy our planet within a day."

Other human: "If it was not for countries having nuclear arsenals, humans would more readily go to war and perhaps millions of lives would have been lost if the USA and the USSR fought one another."

One human: "I need to apply make-up to look good for the club tonight."

Other human: "Humans who use make-up are psychopathic, don't they know that many of these products are tested on enslaved animals?"

And so on and on and on, ad infinitum. On topics ranging from gay sex to whether one can kill another or what religion is morally righteous, humans will always be divisive. We are different, one and all.

So were did humans go wrong, you ask? The Kitten of Anime is right in saying that we are still alive, we are superior to other animals(maybe not microbes, ants and other insects collectively, but on an individual basis, without a doubt), so from an evolutionary standpoint I would say that we have not gone wrong.

But if you want to measure 'wrongness' on moral grounds, well, prepare to be drowned in a quagmire of paradoxes as shown above. Every person will have things that they hate or support, the only time you can with authority say that humanity has gone morally wrong is if each and every one of us are clones with exactly the same conceptions of what is wrong and right. (Or majority-held concepts that are usually seen as wrong due to the biological basis for our moral systems, like "the holocaust was wrong", but still not all humans will agree)

Meanwhile, stay with what you feel is wrong or delve into the maddening labyrinths of moral relativity.

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Old 4th-March-2017, 03:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.
Eden argument, easy to say, hard to disprove.

There's plenty of crackpots that will tell you that in biblical times some people had superpowers (hence mythology) and that before modern medicine people were rarely sick, that life was simpler and easier back then, people lived longer and were smarter/faster/stronger/etc.

Complete and utter bullshit.

The title of this topic still holds, I would like to know how you perceive our culture going wrong, or if it is even wrong, or better or worse.
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Old 4th-March-2017, 03:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

Originally Posted by TMills27 View Post
In summary, it is stated that humans and animals lived a way of life that was harmonious for millions of years until the time of the fertile crescent. This many different ways of life before was not as much of a challenge for humans as it is purported by our modern culture, arguing that humans were the least likely creature to ever starve due to our level of adaptability to our environment.
What's his evidence for that? And how does he define harmonious? In fact we have really good evidence that mankind wiped out the Woolly Mammoth, if not the Saber Toothed cat. This is harmonious living?

The premise is flawed. The only point on this planet is evolution, so going 'right' is winning the evolution arms race. Which interestingly we did with our brains instead of our brawn. Beyond that we invent our own ideas about right and wrong, but those originate with us, and don't come from nature. If anybody wants to judge how mankind is doing it must be from that basis, and not some silly back to nature idea, because all nature cares about is succeeding through breeding.

If you study up on these 'back to nature' philosophies they've been around since the enlightenment. Why? Because pre-enlightenment life was so brutish nobody wanted to go back to nature, that's why they invented the enlightenment and industrial revolution. Now that we're well fed and warm we can imagine a time when it must have been so much better, as we huddled, flea bitten, tick riddled and tape worm infested, in a cold, inhospitable and destructive world.
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Old 10th-March-2017, 12:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Where did humans go wrong?

You are speaking like there is a single culture shared by all people on earth... I'm not seeing that common culture that you are refering to... Also I'm not sure if I have understood your point about population growth either... As you may know, many of the developed countries have had negative population growth in recent decades... I think you should be more specific on what you mean by human culture and how it has gone wrong...

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